Half Showman, Half Teacher — The Lecturer
It's not enough to just try to educate people by passing on information; you have to do it in an entertaining way to make them stand up and take notice and walk away enthusiastic about what they've heard. This challenge is faced by the council lecturer when preparing material for the "Good of the Order" section of a meeting. A successful program of “Good of the Order” topics will help encourage your members to attend meetings and stay informed and involved in your council.
The grand knight appoints the lecturer to provide suitable education and entertainment programs for the council. It's up to him to plan and present worthwhile programs that will help build meeting attendance and benefit the attending members. To do this the lecturer needs to be knowledgeable on all aspects of the council’s programming. Even with a thorough understanding of council programming and the workings of the Order, it can be difficult to come up with new topics for meetings. Fortunately, there are several sources the lecturer can turn to for fresh ideas.
The types of programs arranged by the lecturer are limited only by his imagination and creativity. Panel debates on issues facing the community or the Church; speakers such as the coach of a high school team, a town or parish historian, or a local newspaper columnist; quizzes on history, the Bible or sports; discussions of movies, books or plays; performances by theater groups or choirs; presentations by members on their crafts or hobbies; screening a classic film; a presentation on health issues by a doctor; ethnic night celebrations; arranging a talent show; past grand knight dinners; holiday celebrations; and debates by politicians are just some possible programs.
A good place to look for ideas is Program Supplement. This newsletter includes service programming ideas for councils, information on upcoming special events, data on Orderwide programs, details on membership campaigns and descriptions of materials available from the Supreme Council office.
Another excellent source of ideas is Columbia. Every month the magazine features educational and entertaining articles. These articles can serve as a springboard for discussions on programs the council might be interested in undertaking, how the council will participate in an Orderwide initiative, or issues facing the Church and the community. Discussions could also revolve around the remarks of the supreme knight or the supreme chaplain or any of the other articles featured in the magazine. The "Knights in Action" section of Columbia includes articles on programs sponsored by councils throughout the Order than can prompt talks on your council's activities.
State newsletters, newsletters from other councils, diocesan newspapers and parish bulletins are also good sources for discussion topics.
Lecturers should also familiarize themselves with the videos offered by the Supreme Council office listed in the Knights of Columbus Audiovisuals booklet (#1539). Membership, inspirational and instructional titles are available.